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Online Selling Process is Due for an Overhaul

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If you’ve ever become overwhelmed by all the choices in the bread aisle at the grocery store — white bread, wheat bread, fat-free bread, low-fat bread, gluten-free bread — then consider how consumers must feel when they start shopping for tires online. In a word: overwhelmed.

Joe Cadle’s career has focused on consumer packaged goods, but the shopping marketing professional sees lots of room for improvement in how tire dealers and manufacturers can improve the online tire selling process.

Here’s one of Cadle’s tips: personalize the process. He studied the sites offered by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Michelin North America Inc., Bridgestone Americas Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

“Notably absent from the current online tire selection process across manufacturers and dealers is the simple question, ‘Who is going to be driving the car?’”

None of the tire-selling sites he visited asked such a question. But the answer could give dealers a good start on the kind of tires to recommend, even if consumers are shopping online. A parent outfitting a teenager’s vehicle likely is much more concerned about safety than fuel efficiency or performance.

Here’s another scenario Cadle offers: what if the shopping process began by asking consumers to categorize themselves as someone who knows little about cars or tires, someone somewhat familiar, or a car and tire expert.

“From that point forward, the content along the online path to purchase could be tailored to meet the needs of that particular shopper segment.”

Read more of Cadle’s recommendations to revolutionize online tire selling in his story on page 30 of the October edition of Modern Tire Dealer.

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